Case number 34 in the NewsX NPA files is Premium International Finance Ltd. According to our list, this company owes Union Bank of India Rs 18 crore which has now been classified as an NPA. The registered address of the company is J-2, 72-B, DDA flats, Kalkaji, New Delhi. According to the ROC records with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, this company was incorporated in September 1983 with an authorised capital of Rs 35 crore. Records regarding the last date of AGM and the last date the company filed its balance sheet haven’t been updated. Surprisingly, the ROC records do not show any directors for this Delhi based company either. A sign that the company is defunct.

However, the directors mentioned on our NPA list are Sumaj Jain, V Balakrishnan and DD Trivedi. Today we bring to you a case of a decade old company that has allegedly defaulted on a few loans and is now nowhere to be found. This is a case which proves how our recovery system just ends up creating and chasing ghosts. A further inspection of the ROC records shows that premium international finance Ltd owes Federal Bank Rs 3.9 crore that’s the only loan mentioned under this company on the ROC records and it goes back to 1993 despite the fact the federal bank has claimed to us it has no outstanding NPAs are pending.

We hit the ground to find out what actually was going on. When we visited the registered address of the company, we found it be a residential address. The family that’s currently occupying the space told us that they’ve been living there for the past five years and do not know anything about the company. So a decade old company that has now wound up on our NPA list is nowhere to be found on the ground. When we went back to the ROC records, they show that the company is currently under the liquidation.

As we dug further into the paper trail, we found this securities and exchange board of India notice from 2014. The notice names Premium International Finance Ltd and further alleges that the company had failed to obtain the Sebi complaints redressal system authentication nor had the company redressed the grievance of investors, thereby failing to comply with the earlier Sebi notices. The same notice further alleges that Premium International Finance was issued a show cause notice in March 2014 but it was returned undelivered.

The notice also alleges that the directors of the company were to appear for a personal hearing in September 2014 for which they failed. As we dug further into the company, a legal trail appeared. We found a number of judgments for a case between Goyal MG Gases Ltd vs Premium International Finance Ltd. Here’s a judgment copy from 16 February 2018 that’s roughly 2 months back.

The judgment states that Goyal MG Gases is seeking to recover of a sum of Rs 55 lakhs from the defendants — Premium International Finance Ltd. The judgment copy further states that Premium International Finance had approached the Goyal MG Gases for a discount facility back in September 1995 which they had promised to repay within 105 days.

So if we were to go by the dates mentioned in the judgment copy, Goyal MG Gases extended a discounting facility back in 1995. It’s 2018 now, 25 years and the company is still struggling to recover its money. In the same judgment, one of the directors listed on the NewsX NPA listed — Sumaj Jain- has been mentioned as a witness for Premium International Finance Ltd. The February 2018 judgment held Premium International Finance liable to pay back Rs 55 lakh with interest to the plaintiff.

We’ve written an email to the company, but haven’t heard from them. We’ve also written to the bank, but are yet to heard from them. Premium International Finance Ltd started in 1983. According to the NewsX NPA list, the company owes Union Bank Rs 18 crore while on the ROC records, the company owes Federal Bank Rs 3.9 crore. The ROC records mention no directors of the company. However, according to our NPA list, the directors of the company are Sumaj Jain, V Balakrishnan and DD Trivedi. The paper trail reveals that premium finance has been engaged in a legal battle with another firm over the recovery of Rs 55 lakhs which Premium International Finance took as a discounting facility in 1995.

Also ReadRaised concerns about cash shortage earlier: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana slam Centre’s cash crunch reason

The ROC records also show that the company is under liquidation. When we visited the registered address, we found it to be a residential plot. We were further informed that a family has been living there for the past 5 years. So there’s essentially no trace of the company on the ground., Meanwhile, the directors are nowhere to be found. In all the dozens of cases that NewsX has investigated, here’s another example of how firms with outstanding debts become ghosts. They just disappear. Here’s a case of debt recovery that has been going for decades. Investors have been allegedly duped, Sebi guidelines violated, loans are due but then nothing. The cases just keep being pushed around on paper find no conclusion. Directors disappear, companies disappear. The Debts remain.

A good indicative of how a system of bankruptcy courts. A system of prioritising and cleaning up NPA cases could not only help cleanse the system but set examples for other businesses and directors that the system has a conclusion not just an endless cycle of nothingness.

Also ReadPM Modi shares his 10-line Gujarati poem Ramata Ram Akela on Twitter